When it comes to technology that serves the construction industry, integration and collaboration seem to be the name of the game. Across the myriad moving parts of any given project — from preconstruction and initial bid submittals to audits and litigation years down the road — data is integral, and every separate realm or silo that holds a type of data means more time, money and hassle when it comes to analyzing, integrating and using that information for practical purposes.
In an effort to better serve their clients, tech firms in the construction space join forces to marry their niche solutions with other technologies to provide more comprehensive and interoperable tools. Every few weeks, Construction Dive will provide a roundup of the most recent mergers, acquisitions and integrations in the construction technology space. To view the entire series, click here.
PlanGrid software integrates with other data applications
Construction software firm PlanGrid, of San Francisco announced that companies such as Holobuilder, Sensera, Stamplay and Uplift Data Partners have recently readied their data systems for use in the former’s public application programming interface.
PlanGrid referred to integration of these devices and applications into its common platform as a bolstering of its “partner ecosystem,” claiming it “removes data silos” that clients would otherwise have to deal with. It said in a statement, that, for example, “a PlanGrid customer can use Uplift Data Partner's network of vetted and experienced pilots to take drone images of their jobsite. These images can be uploaded and processed within SiteAware before being submitted to PlanGrid as project reference documents. Images can also be attached to RFIs created by field workers, and then pushed out to RedTeam's project management platform for detailed routing and tracking."
The more targeted systems and platforms that integrate with PlanGrid, the more comprehensive data its clients have access to, the company added. Earlier this year, PlanGrid linked with file hosting service Dropbox to allow users to upload and transfer plans from the PlanGrid app to Dropbox, and vice versa, where files, design plans and other project documents can be accessed from any device or platform in real time.
Synchro Software partners with GenieBelt for 4D planning and reporting
Synchro Software, another application provider targeted to the construction industry, announced that it joined forces with European startup GenieBelt’s line of construction project management software and mobile apps.
Synchro said in a recent statement that the deal will fuse its 4D virtual planning software with the latter’s digital project management tools to “provide real-time updates to the project’s schedule and BIM model, ensuring continuous overview and insights into actual project progress.”
GenieBelt raised 2 million euros in a late 2016 funding round led by publicly listed European HVAC company Danish Solar A/S, which industry observers saw as a vote of confidence in GenieBelt's business, according to TechCrunch.
Triax gets its sensor gear in United Rentals’ equipment
“Internet of things” specialist Triax Technologies said earlier this month that its Spot-r IoT network is now accessible through equipment from United Rentals, which claims to be the largest equipment rental company in the world.
The Spot-r system collects real-time data indoors and outdoors without the need for Wi-Fi,Triax said in a recent statement. Clips and tags are worn by workers or tagged on equipment, “automatically monitoring the location, time and attendance of personnel, as well as equipment location and utilization.” The firm claims that the system enhances safety through sensors that can detect falls, alarms that can call for evacuations in emergency situations, and channels that allow workers to report hazards and non-fall injuries.
United Equipment primarily serves the construction industry with more than 3,400 classes of equipment in close to 900 locations in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces, according to the statement.
Avitru aims to ease submittals through Newforma’s Project Center
Avitru, the provider of AIA MasterSpec, an American Institute of Architects-associated building and construction specification resource, announced a partnership with Newforma in a statement last week.
Newforma said its Project Center software simplifies the organization, distribution and access of critical project information such as emails, RFIs and submittals, while maintaining a full audit trail.
The first deliverable during the partnership will aim to connect submittal information in AIA MasterSpec to the submittal tools of Project Center to help with the management and processing of architectural product submittals.
Newforma in 2012 launched a line of software that it said helps streamline workflows in the construction industry.
Bluebeam acquires Project Atlas' digital mapping engine
Bluebeam, a technology firm that specializes in the AEC industries, announced last week that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of privately held Project Atlas.
Founded last year, Project Atlas is a digital mapping engine that uses geolocation instead of traditional folder structures to organize and visualize 2D plans and construction data. According to a recent statement, the system “allows design and construction professionals to create and search a seamless digital map of their project that contains plans, people, material, site photos and drone imagery, all within highly detailed, zoomable layers.”
Bluebeam has embarked on several big upgrades to its project-efficiency and collaboration tools, over the years, and president and founder of San Diego-based Whitcraft Engineering Solutions, John Whitcraft, told Construction Dive early last year that he was a “big fan” of the firm’s workflow and construction management software.